How to Trade Crypto in FTX

How to Trade Crypto in FTX

Platform Overview

FTX’s interface is similar to other trading platforms but with additional features catered to derivative traders.

We will use BTC as an example, select BTC from the top banner and bring us on to the BTC perp contract.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
How to Trade Crypto in FTX

1) Cryptocurrency Selector
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
When you scroll over a particular cryptocurrency, you’ll be able to select the various Futures, Move Contracts, Spot or Token products related to it.

2) Candlestick Chart
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
The Candlestick Chart depicts the price movements of the trading pair., showing how far and the direction the price of an asset is moved during a specific time period. Each “candlestick” shows one day. To learn more, here’s our recommended reference: Introduction to Candlesticks

3) Crypto Wallet Info
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
This section shares relevant information depending on which asset you’re interested in trading.

When you select a Perpetual, Move or Futures Product, you will be given provide an option to select the Max account leverage ranging from 1x to 101x.

4) Orderbook
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
An Order Book refers to the list of open orders arranged at different prices. This also refers to the market depth, which can give you a sense of the market’s liquidity, i.e., how much can you buy before your orders start affecting the market price of the asset.

5) Place Order
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
FTX allows you to execute 6 types of orders:
  • Limit Order (An order to buy/sell at a specific price)
  • Market Order (An order to buy/sell at market price)
  • Stop Market Order (An order to execute market order once an assets reach a price)
  • Stop Limit Order (An order to execute limit order once an asset reaches a price)
  • Trailing Stop Order (Set the stop price at a fixed amount below the market with an attached ‘trailing’ amount)
  • Take Profit Order (Like for a Stop-loss order, you directly input the trigger price when creating a Take profit order. If you are buying, the order will get sent when the market price drops below your trigger price. If you are selling, the order will get sent when the market price exceeds below your trigger price).

6) Market Trades
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Market trades shows all the trades that occurred within the asset’s market by traders across FTX’s userbase.

7) Check Balance, Open Orders, Trigger Orders Trade History
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Similar to other trading interfaces, you can check for any open orders (Orders that are currently live and not executed), order history (orders that have been executed), as well as a summary of all the assets you currently own. What is unique to FTX is that you can also see your Trigger Orders. When a trigger order becomes triggered, it’s possible for the order it sends to fail.

The account may not have enough margin, price bands during sharp market moves might prevent market orders from matching against other orders, etc. In these cases, it may be preferable to retry sending the triggered order until their overall triggered order size is filled. Retried triggers will only be sent when the standard conditions around mark price and trigger price are met. You can see the result of each trigger on the Trigger Order History page by clicking the “+” button on any trigger order set to Retry to view all its triggers.

Placing Orders

If we are looking to get "Long" we make sure obviously we are selecting Buy BTC in this top header.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
If we are looking to get "Short" we select the Sell BTC header and that is going to allow us to open a Short position.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
For now we are looking at opening a Long position, if I wanted to use a market order, this would automatically enter my position at market price and what i can do in here is I can select the amount of BTC that I would like to purchase for this Long position or I can select the amount in USD.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Place this position by pressing "Buy" button.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
You can see my Order has been placed and scroll down here.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX

Spot Margin Trading

How to enable margin trading

To enable margin trading and borrowing, visit your settings page or the borrowing page. 
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Click "Margin" then "Enable spot margin trading".
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Once you change the setting you can see there are two options in the spot margin section "View Borrows" and "View Lending".
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
You can also access the borrow landing page via the window icon on the navigation bar and click "Borrow/Lending".
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
If you turn margin trading and borrowing on, then your account will attempt to borrow any spot assets that it is short.  If you turn it off, there will instead be collateral conversions to true up any short balances.

How does borrowing/lending work?

If you have spot margin trading enabled, then you can lend out one spot token in order to borrow another; for instance you could lend out $50,000 in order to borrow 1 BTC.  That USD would then be locked up and potentially loaned out to another user; you would receive interest if it was.  Conversely, you would pay interest to another user on the 1 BTC you were borrowing.

There are a number of different ways to implement margin trading and borrow/lending.  FTX’s is the most automatic in the industry, though the user still has full control over their borrowing and lending.  Rather than requiring discrete actions to request borrows, receive them, move the funds, open/close positions, etc., the entire process is abstracted away into net balances.

As long as you have sufficient margin, you can borrow spot tokens simply by spending beyond your account’s balance of them.

So say that you have $50,000 (USD) in your account and nothing else.  If you sold 1 BTC for $15,000 in the spot BTC/USD orderbook, your total balances would then be: +65,000 USD; -1 BTC.  You didn’t have the BTC and so need to borrow it in order to sell it.  FTX does this automatically when you sell, sending an order to the funding book on your behalf to borrow 1 BTC.

You can even do this with withdrawals!  If your account has 3 BTC and nothing else, you can request a withdrawal of 1 ETH (despite not having any ETH!).  FTX will automatically request a borrow for 1 ETH for you, and you can then withdraw that ETH.  Note, however, that you cannot borrow to withdraw for greater size than is available and unused in the borrow-lending book!

So there’s no need to manage collateral vs margin positions vs withdrawable tokens vs margin trading vs spot trading.  The same commands (buy/sell/deposit/withdraw) work normally and are allowed as long as your account has enough total collateral to support the necessary borrows.


For example: To borrow USD to do margin trading to buy bitcoin you need to first go to the BTC spot market trading.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Toggle "Margin" to enable trading on margin, a slider would appear.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
You can choose as much USD as you want to borrow for this trade. Click "Margin Buy" to execute
How to Trade Crypto in FTX


Go to your wallet.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Click "Margin Lending".
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
Lets use USDC as an example, Click "Lend".
How to Trade Crypto in FTX
You need to specify the quantity you want to lend.
How to Trade Crypto in FTX

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What makes FTX futures different from other futures?

The futures listed on FTX differ from other major cryptocurrency futures in the following ways:
  • FTX futures are stablecoin settled: you deposit stablecoins as collateral for all of the futures, and your PNL is settled in stablecoins.  This means that you get legitimate USD-based price exposure and settlement, without needing a bank account; you can also use the same base currency as collateral for all of the contracts, making it easy to shift your positions around.
  • FTX futures have a unique backstop liquidity provider program which jumps in to provide to accounts in danger of bankruptcy, helping to avoid clawbacks.
  • FTX futures have careful, measured margin calls to avoid large price dislocations.

How do the quarterly futures expire?

The quarterly futures expire to a TWAP of their associated index on the last Friday of every quarter between 2am and 3am UTC.

If you hold an expiring futures position, you will be credited with USD PNL equal to the expiration price shortly after.

What is a perpetual future?

Perpetual futures dont expire.  Instead, every hour, each perpetual contract has a funding payment where longs pay shorts equal to [1 hour TWAP of Premium] / 24.  This helps to keep the price of the perpetual futures in line with the price of the underlying index without ever closing down positions for expiration.

How do I post collateral?

Collateral for the futures is in stablecoins.  The current set of accepted stablecoins is USDC, TUSD, USDP, BUSD, and HUSD.

To deposit or withdraw collateral, go to your wallet page and deposit either USDC, TUSD, USDP, BUSD, and HUSD. Depositing either will credit your account with USD, which is automatically used as collateral for all of your futures trades.

By default all margin is posted in USD in your wallet.  USD can be funded by depositing USDC, TUSD, USDP, BUSD, and HUSD.

Balances of the following coins also count towards collateral:
Coin Weight (total) Weight (initial)
Non-USD fiat 0.99 0.98
USDT 0.975 0.95
BTC 0.975 0.95
ETH 0.95 0.9
BNB 0.95 0.9
PAXG 0.95 0.9
XAUT 0.95 0.9
KNC 0.95 0.9
BCH 0.9 0.85
LTC 0.9 0.85
TRYB 0.9 0.85
LINK 0.9 0.85
TRX 0.9 0.85
CUSDT 0.9 0.85
XRP 0.9 0.85
SOL 0.9 0.85
BVOL 0.85 0.8
IBVOL 0.85 0.8
OKB 0.85 0.8
HT 0.85 0.8
MKR 0.8 0.8
SUSHI 0.8 0.8
SNX 0.8 0.8
YFI 0.8 0.8
SXP 0.8 0.8
BTMX 0.8 0.8
OMG 0.8 0.8
TOMO 0.8 0.8
AAVE 0.8 0.8
OKB 0.85 0.8
HT 0.85 0.8
MATIC 0.8 0.8
LEO 0.85 0.8
Tokenized Stocks (e.g. AAPL, TSLA, etc.) 0.85 0.8


0.9 0.85

FTT (optional)

0.95 0.95

By default all positions use the same collateral pool, and all USD, non-USD fiat, and above cryptocurrencies in your wallet count as collateral.  Each subaccount has one central collateral wallet and uses cross margining for the account.  Each subaccount has separate margin and collateral from other subaccounts.

If you want to use isolated margin create a subaccount for that position and move in collateral.
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